On a recent trip to New York City a friend of mine made the comment that city officials seem to prioritize the needs of the city’s ultra-wealthy over those most reliant upon city services. In my time researching NYC’s service delivery mechanisms I’ve found this sentiment to be completely untrue.

I’ve condensed a more readable version of a deep-dive I conducted into the subject back in 2015, the full report can be found on my website.

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Two years ago I sourced 925,391 NYC 311 service requests (Jan. 2015 — June 2015, via NYC Open Data Portal), extracted each request’s geolocation metadata, and intersected them with city parcel data. …

Love these pictures by Stephen Wilkes. If you haven’t already, definitely check him out.

Consider quantum physics — wait, stay with me — the field’s foundation of knowledge is built on understanding the universe’s largest phenomena so we can better explain the small things. I’ll let Brian Greene’s recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert explain. See 1:15–4:30 for the real important info.

Not so bad, who wouldn’t want a levitating rapid bus transit system? Here’s the gist of the conversation in case you didn’t watch the video:

  • Small things are bound by the same principles of large things
  • Actions taken by small things are fundamentally different, and yet the same, as big things (i.e. …

This is the tenth, and final, post in a series of excerpts from my graduate research at Cornell University; each has been adapted for the purposes of this format. To read the full report, in all its technical glory, please visit my website.

Previous Topic: The City as a Platform

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Times Square NYC — where the locals don’t go

Throughout this analysis I’ve established an admittedly utopian framework to move today’s cities toward the digital city of tomorrow. The shift to this urban renaissance is littered with countless roadblocks — many we’ve touched on — however, we need to address the elephant in the room.

Digital urbanists must acknowledge that as they build future civic platforms their initiatives aren’t competitive in the social balance of attention.


Brian Rollison

digital citizen

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